31 Jul 2012
Russian anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny has been charged with embezzlement in a case he describes as "strange and absurd". Federal investigators in Moscow brought charges over a timber deal in the Kirov region in which he was involved as an unofficial adviser three years ago.
The case was previously investigated and dropped by regional prosecutors. Mr Navalny, who was also ordered not to leave the country, suggested the new charges were aimed at discrediting him. Supporters of the anti-corruption lawyer, who led mass protests in Moscow against Russian leader Vladimir Putin this winter, demonstrated outside the offices of the Investigative Committee (SK) in Moscow, where he was charged on Tuesday.
Under Article 160 of the Russian criminal code on "misappropriation or embezzlement", Mr Navalny faces between five and 10 years in prison if convicted.
Reacting to news of the case, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said on Twitter: "We should be concerned with attempts in Russia to silence fierce opposition activist Alexei @navalny."
Drug warriors often contend that drug use would skyrocket if we were to legalize or decriminalize drugs in the United States. Fortunately, we have a real-world example of the actual effects of ending the violent, expensive War on Drugs and replacing it with a system of treatment for problem users and addicts.
Ten years ago, Portugal decriminalized all drugs. One decade after this unprecedented experiment, drug abuse is down by half.
The world's 20th richest man declared recently that a living wage bill passed (over his veto) by New York's city council was the next best thing to Communist central planning. Michael Bloomberg, who's also made news recently trying to ban large sodas, today took the next step in proving how serious he is about keeping wages low--I mean, keeping New York City a "business-friendly" climate.
Bloomberg is suing to prevent not just the living wage bill, but a companion "prevailing wage" bill that the City Council also passed over his veto, from going into effect. The living wage bill requires employers that get more than $1 million in taxpayer subsidies to pay their workers at least $10 an hour with benefits or $11.50 an hour without them, and the prevailing wage bill would up wages to $20 an hour for certain building services workers in buildings that receive subsidies of over $1 million or where the city leases a significant amount of property.
30 Jul 2012
The trial of three Russian women who face up to seven years in jail for performing an anti-Vladimir Putin song in a Moscow church got under way on Monday, in a case that has divided the country. Initial hearings in the trial earlier this month saw the court order the three members of rock group Pussy Riot to stay in detention until January 2013, a move their supporters condemned as travesty of justice.
With the initial hearings in the trial now over, Monday's audience will see the first legal arguments in a process that is growing into a landmark event in the struggle between President Putin and the emboldened opposition. The hearing at the packed Khamovnichesky court in Moscow got underway with all three detained present shut in a glass-fronted defendants' box as judge Marina Syrova declared the session open.
In February, the three women climbed into an area reserved for priests in the Church of Christ the Saviour, the country's top Orthodox cathedral, and performed a "punk prayer" against Putin. (RNW)
29 Jul 2012
A story about the fire at the heart of suffering. Bringing together dancers, musicians, visual artists and 3d animators, the film takes a critical look at the events of the past decade that have shaped our world.
Most people have little idea that the origins of the Olympic flame do not lie in ancient Greece, and was instead formulated as a major part of the Nazis’ plot to shift international opinion in their favor.
"There had been no such torch relays in the ancient Games or, for that matter, in any of the 10 modern Summer Olympics preceding the Berlin Games," wrote renowned author David Clay Large in his outstanding book, "Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936," which was published in 2007. "The torch relay was one of but many ways in which the Nazi Games helped define the modern Olympic experience as we know it today."
The torch relay would play a major role in the propaganda offensive backed by Hitler and orchestrated by Dr. Joseph Goebbels. In the lead-up to the Games, the Nazi Propaganda Ministry supported a relay of the Olympic flame that would not only provide spectacular footage for Olympia, the 1938 film that was used to promote the Nazi ideal ahead of World War II, but could also be used for significant political and public relations benefit.
The ancient Greeks had run relay races that involved flames as part of their worship to the Gods, but there had been no such symbolism in the modern Games. There had been a flame at Amsterdam in 1928 and Los Angeles in 1932, but it did not come from Olympia and there was no relay.
Yet ahead of Berlin, the Nazis wasted no opportunity to ensure the flame’s journey was used to promote the party ethos. At the lighting ceremony in Greece, a German ambassador dedicated the torch to Hitler himself, while a band played the marching song of the Sturmabteilung, the Nazi Party army, according to Large.
"The Nazis used the Olympics to give the German public an exaggerated sense of national superiority that later was used in the service of military aggression," said Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of Holocaust Studies at the David S. Wyman Institute in Washington D.C. "The games also gave Hitler a way to soften his public image in order to allay the international community’s concerns about his bigotry, violence and militarism."
For some consumers, all the research in the world on the poisonous effects of aspartame won't stop them from drinking their beloved diet sodas. But--all of you diet soda drinkers out there--will you continue to drink them if the actually cause you to gain weight?
This report from ABC News talks about just one of the studies and how diet sodas trick our brains, resulting in weight gain.
While the eyes of the world were on the first full day of competition at the London Olympics, a far smaller group was marking the “anti-Games” near the stadium on Saturday. A few hundred protesters gathered in a party atmosphere to express their opposition to everything from corporate sponsorship of the Olympics to anger about missiles positioned on the roofs of nearby apartment blocks for the Games.
At the protest in Mile End, one subway stop from the stadium in east London, many demonstrators looked a little stunned by the sudden media attention after months of being largely ignored. “There seem to be more cameras than protesters!” said Jean Videler, 60, equipped with a rucksack and tennis shoes, her grey hair falling to her shoulders.
The protest brought together around 40 activist groups under the banner of the “CounterOlympics Network” – groups that had hitherto struggled to be heard above the din of the London 2012 media machine. Some protesters were from the “Occupy London” anti-capitalist movement, or from far-left parties, united by their opposition to the multi-million dollar sponsorship of the Games by multinationals like McDonald’s and Dow Chemical.
27 Jul 2012
In a nation that prefers the wives of political leaders to be bland adornments, Gu Kailai was positively fluorescent. Married to Bo Xilai, the Politburo member whose downfall earlier this year is still shaking the Communist Party, she reveled in her brash, ambitious ways. "This public announcement is just to further discredit Bo, to ensure that he will not rise from the ashes, which is still a possibility." Admirers bragged that Ms. Gu, a pioneering lawyer who spoke fluent English, was China’s answer to Jacqueline Onassis.
But in formally charging her on Thursday with the poisoning death late last year of a British businessman, the Chinese government, almost certainly intentionally, has placed the larger-than-life Ms. Gu into a familiar Chinese framework: the conniving, bloodthirsty vixen whose hunger for money derailed her husband’s promising career.
Although no one has presented any compelling evidence to rebut the official narrative that Ms. Gu, 53, played a role in the death of the businessman, many wonder if party leaders are using her case to deflect public disgust over the kind of corruption and abuse of power that critics say was embodied by her husband. Mr. Bo, who was suspended last April from the Politburo and has not been heard from since, has so far remained in a parallel justice system reserved for the party elite. His fate was not mentioned in the brief statement announcing his wife’s trial.
26 Jul 2012
Sidewalk Chalk Artist Arrested by LAPD - Artist Alex Schaefer chalking as his act of civil disobedience against the collusion between banks and state.
We Are Change Austin used the medium of chalk at two separate rally's at the state's capital. There were police confrontations from the chalk usage. The chalk was a common sidewalk chalk that can be purchased at any store. The message was freedom for all.
The Catholic Church in Scotland has branded gay marriage a "dangerous social experiment" and dismissed homosexual relationships as nothing more than "friendships" as the SNP agreed to push ahead with same-sex unions. Ministers in Edinburgh finally agreed the framework for legislation on Wednesday in a move described by some campaigners as a "proud day for Scotland". But a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said: "The Scottish Government is embarking on a dangerous social experiment on a massive scale.
"The church looks much further than the short-term electoral time-scales of politicians. We strongly suspect that time will show the Church to have been completely correct in explaining that same-sex sexual relationships are detrimental to any love expressed within profound friendships. However, in the short term and long term the Church does not see same-sex marriage as an appropriate and helpful response to same-sex attraction."
The Catholic Church attracted criticism earlier on Wednesday as it emerged that the new Archbishop of Glasgow had suggested a young Labour MP, David Cairns, died because he was gay.
25 Jul 2012
Thank you for calling Tony Blair associates.
If you are corrupt dictator looking for expensive advice on how to deflect attention from your appalling human rights record, please press 1.
If you are a banking lobbyist and you need Tony to tell some journalist something stupid and fundamentally disingenuous like “don’t take 30 years of liberalisation and say this is what caused the financial crisis”..., please press 2.
If you are a right wing media mogul whose TV channel denies climate science and helped convince Americans that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and you want Tony to become godfather to your grandchild, press 3.
If you are a multinational looking for Tony to call a in favor from those who benefited from his time at number 10 or as peace envoy in the Middle East, press 4.
If you are an ordinary Palestinian or Israeli hoping for Tony to help deliver peace, please press 5 and wait for assistance, forever.
If you are the CEO of a major global bank and want Tony to speak at your son's graduation ceremony like he did for Barclay's Bob Diamond, please press 6.
If you are from a major global bank and you want to engage Tony for unspecified 'advice' for more than the 2,5 million pounds a year that JP Morgan is currently paying him, then please press 7 and speak to Tony directly.
If you are a citizen and looking for Tony to speak truth to the power of finance the way one would expect from an elder statesman, please press 'hang up', look in the mirror and ask yourself: who are we kidding?
Cuban police arrested dozens of dissidents yesterday after the funeral of Oswaldo Paya, a political activist whose sudden death in a road accident triggered grief and suspicion, AFP reporters said. Those arrested included Guillermo Farinas, a leading rights activist, who was held for questioning by plainclothes police deployed outside the Havana church where Paya's funeral was held.
Farinas, known for hunger strikes that drew attention to the plight of political prisoners in Cuba, and about 50 others were stopped by police after emerging from the funeral mass shouting slogans against the government. They were forced onto two buses that the church had provided to take people to the cemetery where Paya was to be buried.
Two of Paya's children have questioned the official account of how their father was killed. Authorities said Paya, 60, died along with another dissident, Harold Cepero Escalante, on Sunday when their rental car went off the road and struck a tree in southeastern Cuba.
All children in the UK are to be given the flu vaccination after experts said it could save up to 2,000 lives a year. The scheme, which is expected to be rolled out in 2014, will see all children aged two to 17 given the vaccination through a nasal spray. Younger children will be given the spray at their GP practice and schoolchildren will receive it at school.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which advises the Government on vaccination policy, said the flu programme should be extended to children because it could reduce the rate of infection by 40%. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has accepted the recommendation, a Department of Health spokesman said. At present, over-65s, pregnant women and people with a serious medical condition, including children, are eligible for a seasonal flu jab. (Telegraph)
Bill Gates Wants Depopulation Through Vaccines and Health Care
Archaeological "gold mine" illuminates connection between king and sun god. Some 1,600 years ago, the Temple of the Night Sun was a blood-red beacon visible for miles and adorned with giant masks of the Maya sun god as a shark, blood drinker, and jaguar. Long since lost to the Guatemalan jungle, the temple is finally showing its faces to archaeologists, and revealing new clues about the rivalrous kingdoms of the Maya.
Unlike the relatively centralized Aztec and Inca empires, the Maya civilization—which spanned much of what are now Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico's Yucatán region (Maya map)—was a loose aggregation of city-states. (Read about the rise and fall of the Maya in National Geographic magazine.) "This has been a growing awareness to us since the 1990s, when it became clear that a few kingdoms were more important than others," said Brown University archaeologist Stephen Houston, who announced the discovery of the new temple Thursday.
24 Jul 2012
In an ashram perched high on a hill above the noisy city of Guwahati in north-east India is a small exhibit commemorating the life of India's most famous son. Alongside an uncomfortable-looking divan where Mahatma Gandhi once slept is a display reminding visitors of something the man himself said in 1921: "Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex (not the weaker sex)."
One evening two weeks ago, just a few miles downhill, a young student left a bar and was set upon by a gang of at least 18 men. They dragged her into the road by her hair, tried to rip off her clothes and smiled at the cameras that filmed it all. It was around 9.30pm on one of Guwahati's busiest streets – a chaotic three-lane thoroughfare soundtracked by constantly beeping horns and chugging tuk-tuks. But for at least 20 minutes, no one called the police. They easily could have. Many of those present had phones: they were using them to film the scene as the men yanked up the girl's vest and tugged at her bra and groped her breasts as she begged for help from passing cars. We know this because a cameraman from the local TV channel was there too, capturing the attack for his viewers' enjoyment. The woman was abused for 45 minutes before the police arrived.
Within half an hour, clips were broadcast on Assam's NewsLive channel. Watching across town, Sheetal Sharma and Bitopi Dutta were horrified. "I was fuming like anything. There was this horrible, brutal assault being shown on screen – and the most disturbing thing was, the blame was being put on the woman, who, the report emphasised, was drunk," says Sharma, a 29-year-old feminist activist from the North-East Network, a women's rights organisation in Guwahati. "The way it was filmed, the camera was panning up and down her body, focusing on her breasts, her thighs," says Dutta, her 22-year-old colleague.
When the police eventually turned up, they took away the woman, who is 20 or 21 (oddly, Guwahati police claimed not to know exactly). While NewsLive re-played pixellated footage of her attack throughout the night, she was questioned and given a medical examination. No attempt was made to arrest the men whose faces could clearly be seen laughing and jeering on camera. Soon afterwards, the editor-in-chief of NewsLive (who has since resigned) remarked on Twitter that "prostitutes form a major chunk of girls who visit bars and night clubs".
Newly released British documents contain a claim by an unnamed contact that the Shin Bet security service collaborated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to hijack the June 1976 flight from Israel that was diverted to Entebbe, Uganda, the BBC reported Friday.
Israel's rescue of the dozens of hostages taken in the hijacking of the Air France plane, popularly known as the Entebbe raid, is considered one of the most daring and successful operations in Israeli history. Elite Israel Defense Forces troops stormed the airport where the hostages, many of them Israeli, were held and overpowered the hijackers and Ugandan soldiers.
Although the captors used the hijacking to demand the release of Palestinians or Palestinian supporters, a British government file on the incident quotes the unnamed source as telling a British diplomat in Paris that Israel was behind the hijacking. The claim is not known to be backed up by corroborating evidence, and the file does not make it clear whether the British government took the claim seriously.
"The operation was designed to torpedo the PLO's standing in France and to prevent what they see as a growing rapprochement between the PLO and the Americans," the BBC report said British diplomat D.H. Colvin wrote in the document, citing his source.
The Bullingdon Club is a British secret society dining club exclusive to students at Oxford University. The club has no permanent rooms and is notorious for its members' wealth and destructive binges. Membership is by invitation only, and prohibitively expensive for most, given the need to pay for the uniform, dinners and damages.
The Wisden Cricketer reports that the Bullingdon is "ostensibly one of the two original Oxford University cricket teams but it actually used cricket merely as a respectable front for the mischievous, destructive or self-indulgent tendencies of its members". By the late 19th century, the present emphasis on dining within the Club began to emerge. However, Walter Long attests that in 1875 "Bullingdon Club [cricket] matches were also of frequent occurrence, and many a good game was played there with visiting clubs. The Bullingdon Club dinners were the occasion of a great display of exuberant spirits, accompanied by a considerable consumption of the good things of life, which often made the drive back to Oxford an experience of exceptional nature". A report of 1876 relates that "cricket there was secondary to the dinners, and the men were chiefly of an expensive class" The New York Times told its readers in 1913 that "The Bullingdon represents the acme of exclusiveness at Oxford; it is the club of the sons of nobility, the sons of great wealth; its membership represents the 'young bloods' of the university".
The Club's modus operandi has often been to book a private dining room under an assumed name, as most restaurateurs are wary of the Club's reputation for causing considerable drunken damage during the course of dinner.
23 Jul 2012
Monarch Programming is a method of mind control used by numerous organizations for covert purposes. It is a continuation of project MK-ULTRA, a mind-control program developed by the CIA, and tested on the military and civilians. The methods are astonishingly sadistic (its entire purpose is to traumatize the victim) and the expected results are horrifying: The creation of a mind-controlled slave who can be triggered at anytime to perform any action required by the handler. While mass media ignores this issue, over 2 million Americans have gone through the horrors of this program. This article looks at the origins of Monarch programming and some of its methods and symbolism.
Monarch programming is a mind-control technique comprising elements of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) and Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). It utilizes a combination of psychology, neuroscience and occult rituals to create within the slaves an alter persona that can be triggered and programmed by the handlers. Monarch slaves are used by several organizations connected with the world elite in fields such as the military, sex slavery and the entertainment industry. This article will look at the origins of Monarch programming, its techniques and its symbolism.
Taking into account the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran during the 2012 Summer Games, the Olympic committee in charge of the London event has formed a special team to prepare for the contingency.
According to the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth on Wednesday., the team — consisting of politicians, diplomats, security officials and organizing committee personnel — wrote in a report that such a strike was entirely possible.
Yedioth reported that the team was also preparing for the possibility of an earthquake or volcanic eruption. England is thought to be within the range of Iranian missiles and UK officials believe that a military confrontation between Jerusalem and Tehran could involve the country against its will.
The special team listed a number of steps that would need to be taken in the event of such a conflict, among them: opening a special command center, providing secret safe houses for foreign leaders wishing to meet for diplomatic purposes, and preparing for emergency evacuations of dignitaries.
22 Jul 2012
A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary £13 trillion (€11tn -$21tn) of wealth offshore – as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network.
James Henry, former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has compiled the most detailed estimates yet of the size of the offshore economy in a new report, The Price of Offshore Revisited, released exclusively to the Observer.
He shows that at least £13tn – perhaps up to £20tn – has leaked out of scores of countries into secretive jurisdictions such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands with the help of private banks, which vie to attract the assets of so-called high net-worth individuals. Their wealth is, as Henry puts it, "protected by a highly paid, industrious bevy of professional enablers in the private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries taking advantage of the increasingly borderless, frictionless global economy". According to Henry's research, the top 10 private banks, which include UBS and Credit Suisse in Switzerland, as well as the US investment bank Goldman Sachs, managed more than £4tn in 2010, a sharp rise from £1.5tn five years earlier.
The detailed analysis in the report, compiled using data from a range of sources, including the Bank of International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund, suggests that for many developing countries the cumulative value of the capital that has flowed out of their economies since the 1970s would be more than enough to pay off their debts to the rest of the world.
It's probably fair to say that Bradley Wiggins can't really experience all elements of authentic Mod culture. If he were to regularly stay up 'til 3am at the Twisted Wheel while dancing to Northern Soul and necking amphetamines, it's likely that the Chorley-based cyclist wouldn't be leading this year's Tour de France.
But when it comes to everything else, Wiggins is quintessentially Mod. The helmets, sunglasses and uniforms of road cycling can make it difficult for casual fans to tell cyclists in the peloton apart when they're flying past, but Wiggo's signature Paul Weller-style sideburns immediately mark him out in Sky's black and blue.
Twenty years after the United Nations birthed the global “sustainable development” scheme known as Agenda 21, its tentacles have stretched across America into every level of government. But the battle to stop it is in full swing.
While the planetary plot was never ratified by the U.S. Senate, the executive branch has played a crucial role in its success thus far, using grants and mandates to foist it on the American people. Bush, Clinton, and Obama all worked on implementing it. But now, activists from across the political spectrum — Tea Party groups, Occupy Wall Street types, Republicans, liberals, and moderates — are turning up the heat. Scientists are defecting in record numbers, too.
Of course, opposition has existed all along, though it was largely ignored by the establishment press and the political class. In the United States in recent years, however, outrage over the controversial global plan has become overwhelming — impossible to conceal any longer. So in response to the growing nationwide outcry, cities, counties, political parties, and states have all started to take action to defend citizens and their rights. It is paying off; more victories are being announced almost weekly.
21 Jul 2012
"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and between corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day."
Nine other president warnings on WikiNut
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, condemned Israel’s use of solitary confinement against Palestinian children, as reported earlier by the UN Special Committee on Israeli practices in the Occupied Territories. He urged the Israeli Government to treat Palestinian children detainees in accordance with international human rights laws.
“Israel’s use of solitary confinement against children flagrantly violates international human rights standards,” said Mr. Falk, expressing his outrage that Israel even imposes solitary confinement punitively on child hunger strikers. “However, using solitary confinement as a punishment for Palestinian children who wish to peacefully protest their situation, including by commencing a hunger strike against conditions of detention, is an appalling abuse of child prisoners.”
“This pattern of abuse by Israel is grave,” the Special Rapporteur stressed. “It is inhumane, cruel, degrading, and unlawful, and, most worryingly, it is likely to adversely affect the mental and physical health of underage detainees.”
20 Jul 2012
Almost immediately after a bus full of Israeli tourists exploded outside of the airport in Burgas, Bulgaria, both Israel and the United States began hurling accusations that Iran was behind the violence. According to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry, at least six people were killed and approximately thirty were wounded.
Photographs and video taken at the airport showed billowing black smoke from the explosion that left the bus a blackened skeleton, scorched several buses nearby, shattered windows and forced the airport to temporarily close. Eyewitnesses quoted by Israeli news media said some victims were on fire as they tried to escape the flaming bus and that many had suffered severe burns.
In a formal statement, President Barack Obama condemned what he called “today’s barbaric terrorist attack on Israeli’s in Bulgaria.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went much further in his condemnation and stated that “All signs point to Iran.”
While there was no immediate statement from Iran, Netanyahu was quick to point out that the Bulgarian bus explosion came on the 18th anniversary of a bombing that took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the Argentine Jewish Center that killed 85 people. Argentine prosecutors also blamed this attack on Iran.
Netanyahu further stated that “Over the last few months we have seen Iran’s attempts to attack Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus, and other countries.”
Much more on Activist Post
Just days after a poacher's snare had killed one of their own, two young mountain gorillas have been spotted working together to take apart poachers traps. Staff at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund were stunned when they spotted the plucky young duo, called Dukore and Rwema, destroying a trap in their forest home.
'Silverback Vuba pig-grunted at him (a vocalization of warning) and at the same time juveniles Dukore and Rwema together with blackback Tetero ran toward the snare and together pulled the branch used to hold the rope. 'They saw another snare nearby and as quickly as before they destroyed the second branch and pulled the rope out of the ground.'
Read more at Daily Mail
Spanish police have fired rubber bullets and charged protesters in central Madrid after a huge demonstration against economic crisis measures. Thick smoke hung in the air early on Friday from plastic bins set alight by protestors chased by police, who hit them with batons when some tried to reach the heavily-guarded parliament at the end of a mostly peaceful march.
AFP reporters at the scene said dozens of protesters lingered, some throwing bottles at police, near the Puerta del Sol, the big square at the heart of the city where a march of hundreds of thousands wound up late Thursday. A police official said that officers arrested seven people and six others were injured. Earlier, tens of thousands of public employees, trade union members and other Spaniards have marching in 80 Spanish cities to protest the latest batch of austerity measures approved by the government.
The ruling conservative Popular Party used its majority in parliament to push through the measures on Thursday. They include a rise in sales taxes and a wage cut for civil servants. Workers yelled in anger branding the crisis measures "robbery".
19 Jul 2012
Red Ice Radio has gathered together some of the most important research and opinions on what might be the motivations, the plans, the symbolism, the purposes, and the potential outcomes of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Hours of interviews and examination have culminated in a body of knowledge that breaks down the mainstream narrative and alerts the public to be aware in 2012.
Will there be death? Mayhem? Terrorist attacks? Will terrible catastrophes usher in a new era of war and control? A New World Order? Will the stars align and inaugurate a dynamic of peace and goodwill among humanity? A new paradigm of consciousness?
These possibilities and more have been speculated upon for the years leading up to 2012, and now that time is upon us. The London 2012 Olympics have arrived with much anticipation, but whether one sees this as a glorious time to celebrate the union of athletic champions, or instead a cause for raising alarm, is a matter debated by many.
There are plenty of clues that suggests that the Olympic “celebration” and many of the surrounding events and installations are part of an “occult mega ritual”, and one can’t help to wonder exactly who it is supposed to benefit?
18 Jul 2012
The United Nations Security Council has postponed until Thursday a vote on a Western-backed resolution that threatens Syrian authorities with sanctions in a bid to end the 16-month conflict, Russia's UN envoy said.
"A possible vote has been postponed until tomorrow morning," Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador, told reporters after a meeting of the envoys of the council's five permanent members, adding that further talks on the measure would be held on Wednesday.
International envoy Kofi Annan had requested the delay amid differences between Moscow and the resolutions's Western sponsors over whether Damascus should be threatened with sanctions.
Russia has vowed to veto the resolution drawn up by Britain, with the backing of France, United States, Germany and Portugal. The resolution proposes non-military sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter if President Bashar al-Assad does not halt the use of heavy weapons within 10 days of a resolution being passed.
17 Jul 2012
This is beyond too bad. One might have thought that the swelling current of acceptance and change around sexuality which is sweeping up everyone from the music community to national political figures would would dislodge the stubborn rock of the Boy Scouts' institutionalized homophobia.
After a confidential two-year review, the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday emphatically reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays, ruling out any changes despite relentless protest campaigns by some critics.
An 11-member special committee, formed discreetly by top Scout leaders in 2010, "came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts," the organization' national spokesman, Deron Smith, told The Associated Press.
A Chinese immigrant who Indiana (USA) prosecutors say ate rat poison when she was eight months pregnant rejected a plea agreement Friday that would have negated a murder charge in her newborn baby's death.
Bei Bei Shuai turned down prosecutors' offer to drop a murder charge if she pleads guilty to a lesser charge of attempted feticide during a court hearing in Indianapolis, her lawyer and prosecutors said. If Shuai had accepted the deal, she could have faced six to 20 years in prison or even received a suspended sentence.
The 35-year-old Shanghai native, who was freed on bond in May after more than a year in jail, has until Aug. 31 to change her mind. Defense attorney Linda Pence said Shuai wants to clear her name and avoid the stigma of guilt. "She intends to fight these charges vigorously," Pence said. "She doesn't want any other woman to go through what she has gone through."
Several medical and women's rights groups have filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting Shuai. Some briefs claim that a conviction in the case could set a precedent by which pregnant women could be prosecuted for smoking or other behavior that authorities deemed a danger to their unborn child. A lawyer with the New York-based National Advocates for Pregnant Women is assisting in Shuai's defense.
A group of elderly Kenyans who say they were tortured by British officers during the suppression of the Mau Mau rebellion in the 1950s have taken their case to the High Court in London. The four claimants, three men and one woman in their 70s and 80s, are seeking compensation and a statement of regret for the treatment they suffered, including castration, torture, sexual abuse, forced labour and beatings. Lawyers for the group said their clients were subjected to "unspeakable acts of torture and abuse" at the hands of British officials.
"The treatment they endured has left them all with devastating and lifelong injuries," Martyn Day said before the case started on Thursday. "There is no doubt that endemic torture occurred in Kenya before independence."
The case, which is expected to last for two weeks, could open the door for claims from hundreds of other people who survived detention camps during the uprising, which saw Kenyans fighting against British rule in their country.
However, the British foreign ministry, which is being forced to release thousands of secret files from its former colonies, including Kenya, insists that Britain cannot be held legally liable. Robert Jay, a foreign ministry lawyer, admitted on Thursday that several Kenyans were "screened" - a system of interrogation to identify suspects - and tortured inside the detention camps.
However, he argued that Britain had not explicitly enacted a law that said prisoners were to be severely beaten or tortured, and it could not be held responsible for the abuses. Jay said the officers who ran the camps were under the jurisdiction of the colonial administration in Kenya, and that all its powers and liabilities had been legally passed to the Kenyan government on independence in 1963.
16 Jul 2012
15 Jul 2012
A state claiming to be democratic and enlightened does not issue military orders to deport peace activists, who wish to protest against the iniquities of the occupation.
The Israel Defense Forces top brass did not wait for the cabinet’s decision regarding the report issued this week by the Edmond Levy committee. (The report ruled that the entire West Bank is not occupied territory and therefore rendered the Oslo Accords null and void.)
GOC Central Command Nitzan Alon has signed an order enabling the Immigration Police to operate in the occupied territories, including Area A (which is under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority). Chaim Levinson reported in Friday’s Haaretz that the Immigration Police are permitted to search Palestinians’ houses and detain any person the officer has “reasonable cause” to suspect of being there without a permit.
The IDF spokesman commented that the order authorizes the officers to transfer foreigners staying in the territories illegally (according to Israeli law) to Israel’s territory for the continuation of law enforcement procedures in their case.
The mother of Mohammed Bouazizi, the street vendor whose self-immolation sparked a mass uprising in Tunisia that touched off the Arab Spring, has been remanded in custody for insulting an official, the justice ministry said on Saturday.
Manoubia Bouazizi, 60, was arrested on Friday after an altercation with a judge in a court in the central western town of Sidi Bouzid.
She was transferred to a detention center in nearby Gafsa and is due to appear before a magistrate on Monday, charged with insulting an official while he was performing his duties, ministry spokesman Mondher Bedhiafi told AFP.
The uprising in Tunisia was sparked in December 2010 when Bouazizi’s son Mohammed, a 26-year-old who was complaining of unemployment, died after setting himself on fire.
On Friday, another son, Salem, said his mother argued with a clerk of the court, not the judge, who embarrassed her and pushed her towards the exit, at which point the two exchanged insults.
14 Jul 2012
Aid workers have warned of an impending humanitarian catastrophe in western Burma as authorities attempt to isolate tens of thousands of the displaced ethnic Rohingya minority in camps described by one aid worker as "open air prisons".
Aid has struggled to reach those affected by sectarian unrest in early June, as abusive treatment by Burmese authorities continues. The UN announced on Friday that 10 aid workers in Arakan state had been arrested, five of whom were UN staff. Some have been charged, although the details remain unclear.
Rates of malnutrition among the Muslim Rohingya, who have borne the brunt of emergency measures implemented in the wake of fierce rioting in early June between the minority group and the majority Arakanese, are said to be "alarming". The vast majority of aid workers assisting the Rohingya in Arakan have been either evacuated or forced to flee in recent weeks.
13 Jul 2012
Now the British military is being asked to “mind the gap” — in security.
London’s Olympic organizers reeled Friday from the fallout of revelations that 3,500 British troops— some of them just back from tours in Afghanistan — would need to step in and help guard venues for the upcoming Olympics. That’s because the security contractor, G4S, failed in its promise to deliver more than 10,000 security guards — and didn’t let anyone know until the last moment.
Aircraft that stray into the restricted airspace around the Olympic Park could be subject to "lethal force" if they fail to comply with directions from military aircraft.
Puma helicopters, with on-board snipers, and RAF Typhoon fighter jets will be patrolling the restricted zone from midnight tonight, when it comes into force. Unauthorised aircraft will be intercepted and expected to comply with directions from military aircraft, first rocking their wings, then following the military plane or helicopter away from London. (ITV)
12 Jul 2012
The Russian Parliament has voted in favour of a Bill that will see illegal sites blacklisted. Similar to Australia's ACMA blacklist, the Bill will see material deemed illegal by the Russian Government blocked from the internet. This includes pornographic materials; material that promotes suicide, drug use or child abuse; and any other "extremist" content.
The lower Russian House of Parliament, the State Duma, and the Russian courts will reserve the right to add websites to the list. The approval comes just days after the Russian-language Wikipedia, LiveJournal and other websites blacked out in protest of the Bill.
But according to Russian news service Ria Novosti, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that not everything should be free. "The basic principle is that the internet should be free," he said, before the Bill's hearing. "But it should also observe people's basic rights and laws, including the right to information, but also the right to protection from harmful content."
10 Jul 2012
Pictures have emerged from executions by Dutch military in the then Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).
Operation Product, (1947/1948) was the first of two major Dutch military offensives against the Republic of Indonesia during the Indonesian National Revolution. It took place following Dutch assertions that Indonesia cooperated insufficiently in the implementation of the Linggadjati Agreement, which had been ratified on March 25, 1947 by the lower chamber of the Dutch parliament. This police action was also influenced by a Dutch perception that the Republic had failed to curb the influence of Indonesian Chinese, Indonesian Indians and the rising Indonesian Communist Party.
Operation Product, directed by General Simon Spoor, was intended to occupy economically important areas of West and East Java, leaving Yogyakarta, seat of the Republican government, alone because of the high costs that the fighting was expected to incur. On July 21, the Dutch deployed three divisions in Java and three brigades on the less-densely populated Sumatra. The operation resulted in the occupation of large parts of Java and Sumatra, with the Republican army (TNI) offering only weak resistance.